What is the biggest threat to your computer?
The biggest threat to your computer is YOU! People are not getting the message that computer viruses and malware are real. If you value your pictures and other files that are saved on your computer, you need to take some preventative action.
Most of the time, a virus can be removed by completely formatting the hard drive. This method is very effective but you will lose any files on the computer. Many people opt for a less drastic approach to remove malware from their computer. Virus removal tools attempt to surgically remove malware without removing the “good” files.
The most important program that you can install on your computer is a good antivirus program. Don’t get too confident that you are protected. The best antivirus software program can be rendered useless by careless computing. The best example of careless computing is downloading programs from websites that have a questionable history. Even websites sponsored by reputable organizations could have been compromised. …just because you found it on the Internet is not an endorsement that the program is “ok”.
Malware has been evolving just like computers. The first IBM PC was very different from a current computer. Viruses used to be annoyances but the current types of viruses are intended to generate money for thieves.
Ransomware is the latest form of malware. This type of software attempts to force you into sending payment to an extortionist. Your computer may be locked or pictures and files may be encrypted. The only way to recover your files is to send a payment to the initiator of the virus. The thief will send you a software key to unlock your files after you send a payment to a non-traceable destination. Are you going to send money to a thief? What makes you think that a criminal is going to keep his end of the bargain?
Here is the good news. Law enforcement is taking a serious approach to stop this kind of hack. Hackers responsible for these types of attacks have been arrested and prosecuted. Successful apprehensions are becoming a common event. Financial transactions can be traced. Money had to originate somewhere. It didn’t magically appear or disappear. Money only has value if it can be spent.
In today’s world, it is much easier to trace financial transactions. Monitoring financial transactions is a side effect of the war on terror. Money or some other item must be used to barter weapons and supplies. Secret banks accounts are a thing of the past. It is not an easy task to launder money. Someone making money illegally will eventually be detected and prosecuted. Hacking is becoming a guaranteed trip to prison.